Trai pushes for 2 paise per MB public Wi-Fi across the country
India's telecom regulatory authority is planning to deploy Wi-Fi across the country. This is in order to provide internet access at affordable costs for people. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will tie up with small entrepreneurs, communities, individuals and organisations to provide high-speed internet, according to a Times of India report.
Trai in November last year had introduced a consultation paper on the implementation of wi-fi hotspots for people across India in order to give a boost to the Digital India initiative. It consultation paper called for stakeholders and people to share their opinion and views regarding the setting up of public wi-fi hotspots.
Trai's initial plan is to offer internet at 2 paise per MB under the new wi-fi scheme. This will be much lower than the 10 paise per MB that is the current rate in the telecom market.
Now Trai plans to submit its recommendations regarding the wi-fi scheme and is expected to present it to the Telecom Ministry soon.
The committee is also try to make the wi-fi system more convenient for customers by removing unnecessary authentication steps. This is a key feature of the system and is expected to lead to higher adoption.
Trai feels that if the wi-fi hotspots plan is implemented it will reduce the pressure on telecom companies that are facing stiff competition and have issues regarding poor call and data quality, which will reduce going ahead.
The consultation paper in November 2016 called for partnership models with owners of malls, shops, telecom companies and internet service providers, mobile wallets, banks, credit card organisation, content and application providers, and individuals and communities.
While globally the number of Wi-fi hotspots has increased by 568% from 2013 to 2016, in India the number is still lower at 12%.